top of page

Nominations for FFAW pres open Thursday; all members can run for 1st time in years (just not vote)

All FFAW members in good standing (dues paid up) are free to run for president for the first time since 2018 when the union constitution was quietly changed to block the 2,600 or so members who had signed FISH-NL cards from running for the executive. That said, if there is a race only elected reps on the union's joint council will vote.

Keith Sullivan unexpectedly resigned as FFAW President earlier this month, following the unexpected resignation in August of secretary-treasurer Robert Keenan. In April 2021 the union's St. John's headquarters was "attacked." In 2016 the FFAW was taken to court by its own members, who beat the union in an unprecedented court case.

That will make winning that much harder for any candidate other than Greg Pretty, given he was unanimously endorsed by the FFAW executive to replace Keith Sullivan before his seat was cold.

The likelihood that the joint council will vote for a candidate other than Pretty (or, just imagine, a rank-and-file fisherman) is remote — but MUST be encouraged.

When it comes to fish prices, next year's negotiations will be more challenging than ever with new faces around the table (Derek Butler of the ASP also resigned this fall), and Pretty is not known for negotiating brilliant contracts.

Fish pricing is its own particular science, and there are more species than snow crab to get right.

I know an inshore enterprise owner or two with skin in the game who could do wonders for the price of fish.

Too bad price isn't the only thing an FFAW negotiator has to worry about.


SEA-NL represents inshore enterprise owners who are also FFAW members, so it is in our membership's best interest that the union have the strongest leadership possible.

FFAW policies on issues like non-core commercial fishing licenses that cannot be sold or transferred must also be debated, along with the necessity of an independent review of the Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board, gatekeeper into the fishery.

Here's hoping a new leader steps forward.

That said, the structure of the FFAW in representing all sectors of the province's fishery can never truly represent one sector well.


If another candidate besides Pretty steps forward an election will be held on Jan. 5th, but only the union's elected reps on the joint council will be eligible to vote because Sullivan resigned mid-term.

Ryan Cleary,

Executive Director, SEA-NL

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) is a professional, non-profit organization serving as the distinct voice for licensed, independent owner-operator inshore fish harvesters. You can read more about SEA-NL, and join us here.

191 views0 comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page